The best of this month’s Hertfordshire-related books and book news

exciting chase
Ava Glass’s energetic female-led spy novel is James Bond for the 21st century. The chasing (£8.99, Penguin), follows young agent Emma Makepeace. Fresh from training, she has twelve hours to smuggle a Russian asset to safety via London. But Russian intelligence agents are hot on their heels and with the city’s CCTV cameras watching their every step, they have to hide in plain sight. The former St Albans resident spent over a decade working with British spies at MI5 and MI6 before turning to writing. He has been described as “fast, furious and utterly addictive – the perfect gripping read” and is already a bestseller in America.

Great British Life: Dr Louise Newson is busting menopause myths (Photo: Andrew Crowley)Dr. Louise Newson is debunking menopause myths (Photo: Andrew Crowley) (Image: Andrew Crowley)

Myths and menopause
For those of us who regularly open the kitchen window, find your phone in the fridge, or have cotton brains, help is at hand. Dr Louise Newson is known as ‘the doctor who started the menopause revolution’ and is coming to Chorleywood to discuss her book. The Definitive Guide to Perimenopause and Menopause. In the book, the former GP, who now runs a specialist menopause clinic, discusses key topics including hormone replacement therapy, navigating an early menopause, what to eat to improve symptoms, and how to take care of your mental health and what helps is available. It also includes experiences of different women. The Chiltern Bookshops event on March 27 is at St Clement Danes School, Chorleywood. Tickets from £10 via

Great British Life: Zoë Jasko was inspired by her grandmother to write Hope is Daffodil Bright Zoë Jasko was inspired by her grandmother to write Hope is Daffodil Bright (Image: The Endless Bookstore)

revised memories
Zoë Jasko’s latest novel is a moving story about Women’s Voluntary Service. Hope, Daffodil Bright (£14.99, The Endless Bookcase) is part historical biography, part fiction of Zoë’s research on the home front. In 1945, Jean Barnet put the war in a box: the memories of him, his achievements and anguish, eighteen years later, come back to them. “My book seeks to tell the stories of the women who, through tireless volunteerism, kept our country going,” says the Welwyn GC author. Zoë’s inspiration behind the novel is personal; Her grandmother ran a WVS canteen for soldiers, and the author found a treasure trove of characters and situations to explore in the letters the soldiers sent.

what i’ve been reading

Shannon Robinson of David’s Bookshop in Letchworth

Jennette mccurdy
I’m glad my mom died
McCurdy’s memoir is an emotional and compelling read. McCurdy has such a powerful and compelling voice with no need for embellishment. She writes about the abuse she suffered at the hands of a narcissistic mother and her mental health issues as she grew up in the public eye. McCurdy’s writing is punchy and funny, making I’m glad my mom died a powerful and memorable read.

Great British Life: Stone Blind alternates between humor and heartbreakStone Blind alternates between humor and angst (Image: Mantle)

stone blind
natalie haynes
stone blind retells Medusa’s origins through many eyes, including an olive branch, a raven, and the snakes in Medusa’s hair. It is a humorous satire and a fast paced read. Haynes’ retelling is lyrical, rich, and intertwined with tragedy. Haynes is a master of storytelling and prose, bringing our favorite myths to life in a gripping new story.

daisy jones and the six
taylor jenkins reid
Daisy Jones is a novel that reads like a documentary, following the origins and breakup of rock band Daisy Jones & The Six in the 1970s. The story is raw and evocative, told through the perspective of multiple characters. Reid’s multiple points of view and deliberately unreliable narration lead the reader to wonder how particular events are remembered. Daisy Jones is a whirlwind that leaves readers wanting more.


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